RDS_181229 Weekly Trends - Imran Khan
Imran Khan became Prime Minister of Pakistan Image Credit: Gulf News archives

What you need to know:

  • Take a look at the trends that made headlines this year. From politics to entertainment, review the year's top social media stories.

Social media users discussed a wide range of topics online. From various social and political issues to Bollywood weddings, netizens gave their take using their social media accounts. Natural disasters such as the tsunami in Indonesia also trended.

Imran Khan

Pakistan elected cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan as its 22nd prime minister this year. His election was a highly discussed topic on social media. Once elected, Khan was highly active on his online platforms. He also raised awareness around water scarcity, minority rights, and other social and political issues.



Top #BestMomentsOf2018 was when @ImranKhanPTI [was] elected 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. It’s an emotional and happiest moment for all patriotic Pakistanis.

RDS_181229 Weekly Trends - Vat
Gulf News archives Image Credit: UAE introduced VAT this year


The UAE implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) regime in January this year. It marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the UAE economy where the general public started playing a role in budgetary expenditure. UAE-based social media users took to online platforms discussed the effects of implementation.



Small Business and VAT. And do not try to fool the system. I guarantee you, they are smarter and better than you are. Tax evasion is a serious crime. Get an accountant if you are not sure, but do not get lazy, or say “I didn’t know”. #UAETax #UAEVAT

RDS_181229 Weekly Trends - India elections
BJP and Congress go head-to-head in election season. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

India state assembly elections

Netizens in India eagerly waited for the results and supported different political parties in India. While some shared quirky memes. As the elections progressed, Congress got the majority in states that caused a major blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Social media users took to their accounts to express their concerns regarding the Indian government and electoral process.



India’s electoral system has some major technology issues. An opaque software algorithm is likely behind Telangana’s voter deletions, and anxiety over EVMs [Earned Value Management] was widespread through the recent state elections.

RDS_181229 Weekly Trends - Indonesia
Many natural disasters took place in 2018 Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Nature strikes

Social media users talked about natural disasters that hit different parts of the world this year. Floods hit the Indian state of Kerala leaving hundreds dead and homeless. A tsunami hit Indonesia taking over 400 lives. Also, the case of 12 boys and their soccer coach getting stuck in a cave due to heavy rainfall in Thailand gripped the world for weeks.



Praying for everybody affected by the earthquake in Indonesia and along the Indian Ocean. Be safe my friends.

RDS_181229 Weekly Trends - Ambani wedding
Ambani's daughter, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor and Neha Dhupia tied the know this year

Big weddings

2018 was the year of celebrity weddings. From Britain’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the extravagant Ambani wedding in India, marriage ceremonies were widely discussed online. From the entertainment industry, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone as well as Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tied the knot.



Definitely this wedding will leave a mark on the world. Congrats to Isha Ambani for her new life…